Former President Barack Obama's national security adviser Ben Rhodes warned that violence by MAGA shooter Solomon Pena is just the beginning of a future of far-right attacks by domestic terrorists.
Pena shot at the homes of Democratic officials in New Mexico and hired others to do so as well. He's a 2020 election denier and a fierce follower of former President Donald Trump. He denied his own loss in a state legislative seat and said he was looking at his options.
University of Michigan Law School Professor Barbara McQuade warned that the charges are "very serious."
"Firing shots into someone's home is a level of recklessness that risks death, whether they intended to hit anybody and kill them or simply to intimidate someone or send a message or punish someone for not rewarding them the way they wanted to be," said McQuade.
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In the case of one lawmaker, the bullets went into her 10-year-old daughter's bedroom where she was asleep.
"Even if he believed he was acting in the interest of justice because he was robbed of a rightful election, this is not the way that people are supposed to redress their wrongs," McQuade continued. "We have court systems. We have other things. Taking the law into one's own hands is a very serious crime. It would be important to prosecute a case like this to send a message that this type of political violence has no place in a democracy. Evidence matters. Facts matter. So, we will see if they are able to support this with a case that is successful at trial. If so, it's incredibly important to deter other people who might get similar ideas."
Rhodes predicted that while Pena's trial might deter some, more is coming.
"This shows how dangerous it is for people who should know better to normalize election denialism," he said. "In the mind of a wrong individual, this can turn to violence very quickly. And when you hear the rhetoric from Trump, it's violent rhetoric about being robbed, the system rigged. It gets much darker when you get into QAnon territory. I think this is a warning sign of what we could see more of if this kind of big lie election denialism continues to characterize American politics. Someone will get hurt."
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